So far, 2010 is looking like a great year for indie and alternative rock.
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The EP, released in October, was written on paper and recorded on Scheuerman's laptop, in his Washington, D.C. bedroom during the winter of early 2009, and then taken into the studio to mix with the band. The end result is easily one of the best overlooked DIY releases of 2009. Here is yet another example of terrific, original music that flies under the radar and leaves us scratching our heads when compared to the constant flow of crappy and mediocre music that floods the popular media on a weekly basis.
The band Army of Me are not completely unknown in the indie folk rock world. Following the release of their widely acclaimed 2007 debut, Citizen, the band toured heavily, opening for major artists like The Dave Matthews Band, Switchfoot, OAR, The Used, Blue October, and The Almost. Yet the D.C. band's new EP is almost the polar opposite of the band's debut LP - it is stripped down and more focused, completing Scheuerman's intent that "less is more."
In listening to Make Yourself Naked's magnificent set of acoustic tracks, it's nearly impossible to avoid comparisons with the brilliant Neil Finn (The Church), and perhaps early Verve, REM and Oasis recordings. That is a testament to Scheuerman's elegant vocals and poignant lyrics which are the centerpiece of the EP, resulting in compositions that are original, organic, honest and heart felt. In two words: simply gorgeous.
"Don't Be Long" - Army of Me from Make Yourself Naked EP (2009)
"Heart of Love" - Army of Me from Make Yourself Naked EP (2009)
Army of Me official website
Army of Me on MySpace
Even though they officially formed in 2004, Threes and Nines have recently raised eyebrows, and won the praise of some bloggers, following their set at the Bowery Room in NYC during October's CMJ Musical Festival, and after opening for Patrick Watson's at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.
The band's currently unreleased album was recorded at Connecticut's Carriage House under the direction of Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes ), and engineered and mixed by Phil Palazzolo (Neko Case, Okkervil River, St. Vincent). The band is currently looking for a label to release the songs presented here.
"Carnival" - Threes and Nines from s/t debut, unreleased (2010)
"Won't Look Back" - Threes and Nines from s/t debut, unreleased (2010)
Threes and Nines on MySpace
Trees and Trashcans was formed in Denver in early 2008. Evan Malouf and Brad Wright met through common friend Heather Nester and started jamming. Their musical styles meshed seamlessly and the band was formed. Later bassist Mark Henry joined to fill out the sound.
Wright and Malouf co-wrote all the music and continue to do so to this day. The music toucheson a variety of different topics, issues and subjects and is influenced by various genres, making it difficult to pin down the band's style.
"He She We Me" - Trees and Trashcans from Littering The World (2009)
"The Bike Song" - Trees and Trashcans from Littering The World (2009)
Trees and Trashcans on MySpace
The following three tracks were sent in from Lefse Records. The label's growing rooster is turning out some terrific music as demonstrated by the promising bands My Summer As A Salvation Soldier, Tape Deck Mountain and A Grave With No Name.
"Monuments"- My Summer As A Salvation Soldier from Nytt (2009)
"Ghost Colony" - Tape Deck Mountain from Ghost (2009)
"Open Water" - A Grave With No Name from Mountain Debris (2009)
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